CPAP Mask Checklist
Before you start travelling this holiday season, go slowly and carefully over your mask and make sure it will not cause you trouble just when you don’t need it. When in doubt, get a replacement part or piece to have as a spare.
- Silicone Cushion: usually lasts from 9 to 18 months, depending on the strength of the acidity of your skin, and the consistency of your cleaning schedule. If you are getting leaks consistently, even after refitting your mask, it is time to get a new silicon cushion.
- Grey foam or gel: both these pieces need to be resilient, and should spring back into their original shape quickly after being compressed. Regular cleaning is also important for ongoing good seal. Usual life for a grey foam is 3 or 4 months. Gels usually last about the same as their covering cushion.
- Headgear: Usually good for 12 to 18 months, depending on how often you adjust it, and how tight it is kept. If it doesn’t stretch a little when pulled, or if the velcro tabs come apart in use, replace the headgear. Loss of elasticity means leaks.
- Resmed masks: check that the covers on the oxygen ports are solid and staying place firmly. Check the elbow doesn’t leak where it connects to the mask frame. Check that the forehead support isn’t cracked or broken, and that the silicone forehead pad is fitting properly into the support.
- Fisher & Paykel mask: Check the elbow doesn’t leak where it connects to the mask frame. Check that the forehead support isn’t cracked or broken, and that the bottom of the silicone forehead pad is fitting properly into the support and isn’t torn.
- Other masks: As above, check the pieces for cracks or breaks, and pieces missing, or about to fall off.
Remember, a few minutes spent slowly checking your mask (and machine, tube, bag and any other things you use, means a CPAP trouble free trip. And do it now, in November, in case the parts aren’t available, or your mask has been superceded.
PS: If you are leaving the country, take a copy of your prescription with you just in case stuff gets lost.